What so weird about the nursery closings out here in nor Cal is the ones closing have been around for a long time, and often we're the ones we looked to as the best. The most recent long standing nursery to close is Scenic Nursery in Modesto. After 60 years in business, Jim Rogers who has worked there for the last 50 years, has decided to close the business. Modesto sits smack dab in the middle of The Central Valley, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn and a 15% unemployment rate. As Jim said in an article in the Modesto Bee, “People are just barely hanging on,” he said. And those who aren’t struggling to keep their homes aren’t spending money like they had. People used to have a house that had an equity,” Rogers said. “They would say, ‘OK, I gotta stay home this summer, but we can afford to spend some money on the yard, because look at how much the house is worth.’ People just don’t feel as wealthy.” This is the story of California's Garden Center Business.
The comments concerning the closing show just how hard it is to make ends-meet in this business. One commenter says, "PLEASE DON'T CLOSE!!!!!! I have always loved that nursery, but I could never afford to buy the plants there. JUST LOWER YOUR PRICES. I think alot of people feel that way too. It is an icon. I would just go in there to see the beautiful plants and knowledgeable staff. JUST LOWER YOUR PRICES. I know you will get more business. Where else are we all going to go to get good answers." Where indeed.
Another commenter say's, "My 7 year old son nearly cried when he heard this was going out of business. He said, "Mom, just go there this weekend and give them more money so they can stay open!" We were frequent shoppers at Scenic and my son absolutely adored the kids play area. He also loved all the classes they'd have for children. I disagree with any posts saying their prices were too high. Compared to the cruddy .99 offerings of the big box stores that barely ever survived, Scenic Nursery was a deal! Their knowledge will be missed. I'm not sure where I'll go for help with my tough gardening questions now."
The ripple effects of closing will spread. Scenic bought from Annie's Annuals and is the second Master Nursery to close in just the last month, or two. And really, lowering the prices would have helped? You don't know what your missing until it's gone.